Celtics

Celtics fall behind early, lose to Wizards, 118-93

Celtics fall behind early, lose to Wizards, 118-93

It was hard to imagine the Boston Celtics would get off to a worse start than the one we saw on Sunday against Denver. 

And then they returned the floor and unfortunately for the Celtics, picked up where they left off by digging themselves an early hole and never recovering against the Washington Wizards who went going away, 118-93.

WIZARDS 118, CELTICS 93:

The Celtics (3-4) have now lost three straight and fall below .500 for the first time since ... last year when they began the season with a 3-4 record. 

And while they struggled during stretches in all four quarters, it was their feeble play in the first that ultimately sealed their fate. 

Washington (2-5), losers in five of their first six games, had a decisive 34-8 lead after the first. 

According to NBA statistics guru Dick Lipe, the 26-point deficit was the largest faced by the Celtics in franchise history after one quarter of play. And on top of that, the eight points scored by Boston in the first quarter was the second-fewest points scored in the first quarter by the Celtics. 

It was yet another dismal performance by the Celtics defensively with too many Celtics showing little fight on so many levels defensively. 

And it added up to a struggling Wizards team enjoying the best game of their still-young season. 

Otto Porter Jr.  was especially impressive as he had a double-double of 34 points and 14 rebounds. The 34 points were a career high for Porter, and was the second straight game the Celtics allowed a player to score 30 or more points against them. 

On Sunday, Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay had a career high-tying 30 points. He was especially impactful in the first quarter when he had 13 points in just seven minutes of court time. 

Following Washington’s first quarter dominance, Boston could not get any closer than 15 afterwards, but for the most part spent the game facing a deficit that hovered around 20 points. 

Not only did Boston have trouble executing the basics defensively like keeping their man in front of them, the Celtics continued to struggle mightily when it came to limiting second-chance opportunities. 

Washington absolutely crushed the Celtics on the offensive glass which paved the way for a dominant 33-10 advantage on second-chance points. 

Isaiah Thomas had a double-double for Boston with 23 points and 10 assists. The Celtics also got a solid performance from Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart who had 21 and 20 points, respectively.

Marcus Smart physically cleared to play

celtics_marcus_smart_111917.jpg
File Photo

Marcus Smart physically cleared to play

The Celtics might have a big piece back for Tuesday night's Game 5 against the Bucks. 

Marcus Smart, out since last month after undergoing thumb surgery, has been physically cleared to play. The Celtics have yet to announce whether Smart will definitely play Tuesday, but it's hard to imagine the ultra-competitive Smart wouldn't. 

Smart's potential return might go a long way towards the Celtics reclaiming their series lead after winning Games 1 and 2 before dropping two straight in Milwaukee. His impact on games against the Bucks during the regular season illustrated how much his defense can help. 

How to watch/stream Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics, Game 5

How to watch/stream Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics, Game 5

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch Game 5 of the opening round of the NBA playoffs, as the Celtics host the Bucks at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: C's: Game 5 will come down to 'who wants it more'

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]